CDC Study Suggests That People Who Test Positive For COVID-19 Are Twice As Likely to Have Dined at a Restaurant Within 14 Days
Back in March and April, the entire country (as well as others) was on strict lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurants had to close their doors for the unforeseeable future. Even if you could eat out, no one would want to after learning so much about how rapidly the virus can spread.
However, keep humans inside as long as we have been and the second restaurants began to open again, many people swarmed them. Who can blame them? It seemed perfectly fine as many restaurants are taking health precautions to keep their patrons safe and sound, whether it’s having plastic barriers between tables or spreading them far out from each other.
However, a new study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found some unsettling news for restaurant-goers: It turns out that people who tested positive for COVID-19 were twice as likely to have eaten at a restaurant within 14 days beforehand.
The study took 314 participants who had COVID-19 symptoms and tested each for coronavirus. 154 people tested positive. They were all asked a series of questions about how they were taking precautions to protect themselves from the virus, including whether they have eaten at a restaurant in the last two weeks.
“In addition to dining at a restaurant, case-patients were more likely to report going to a bar/coffee shop, but only when the analysis was restricted to participants without close contact with persons with known COVID-19 before illness onset,” the researchers stated.
One caveat: The study didn’t ask the participants whether they dined inside or outside restaurants, which could have a big impact on the results (e.g., whether outdoor dining is safer than indoor dining).
Right now, many states, including New York, which as one of the hardest hit during the pandemic, are slowly opening their restaurants to indoor seating, whereas previously it was only outdoor that was allowed.
More research is needed to determine exactly what it is about restaurants that could make it be deemed high risk. Until then, it’s takeout for us!
To hear more about the study as well as the limitations of the study, check out the video below.
What are your thoughts and feelings on dining out at a restaurant right now? Have you dined indoors or outdoors since restaurants have been able to reopen? What other activities have you done that you weren’t able to do back in March or April?